WISDOM
Share a memory on the anniversary date of a loved one’s death
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08/19/2015

Since survivors appreciate remembering  the “good times” of their loved one, share your memories in a note.  Far more cherished than preprinted sympathy cards are handwritten notes that begin, “I’ll never forget the time that. . .” or, “Let me tell you why _______ meant so much to me,” or “Your father was . . .”

For example, I could say to my nephews and nieces, when remembering my brother’s death: “Your dad was such a tease.  I remember one time when your Aunt Loretta and I decided to sleep outside in a tent, and we were just settling down when something huge hit our tent.  We were sure it was a bear and we ran screaming and crying into the house.  It seems that your dad had decided to go to bed early that night, and had quietly climbed out a window onto the roof and had thrown a basketball as hard as he could at our tent.  He thought that the whole thing was so funny!”

If I was speaking directly to my nieces and nephews then I could say, “I bet that you have lots of fun stories about your dad.  I sure would love to hear some of your stories.”

A woman from our caregiving handbook said, “When my seven-year-old son died, one of the most thoughtful things that several people did was to give me pictures and even a video-tape of my son, which I had never seen before.  What a treasure.”

Those who are grieving want to know that others remember their grief and their loved one.  To remember is a precious gift.

For more information on this topic, listen to the podcasts: what to say on the anniversary of someone’s death and invite conversation on the anniversary of someone’s death

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